Press Releases

Assembly Approved Lampitt, Conaway, Benson, Sumter, Fuentes & Pinkin Bill to Make Cost-Effective Biological Drug Alternatives More Widely Available

The full Assembly on Thursday unanimously approved legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Pamela Lampitt, Herb Conaway, Jr., M.D., Daniel Benson, Shavonda Sumter, Angel Fuentes and Nancy Pinkin to make it easier for consumers to obtain more cost-effective, "generic" versions of biological medicines used to treat conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, anemia, psoriasis and various forms of cancer. 

"The FDA has created a safe pathway to make alternative biological medicines more readily available on the market," said Lampitt (D-Camden/Burlington). "If there is a more cost-effective option to treat and cure various illnesses, then by all means we should be helping patients pursue it."

"Substitution of these biologically similar products for their name-brand counterparts at the pharmacy level is expected to reduce cost by increasing competition," said Conaway (D-Burlington). "Ultimately, this will allow more patients to access treatments."

Eustace, Benson, Mazzeo, Johnson & Coughlin Bill to Ensure Taxpayers Are Getting a Good Return on Economic Investments Clears Assembly

 Legislation Assembly Democrats Tim Eustace, Daniel Benson, Vince Mazzeo, Gordon Johnson and Craig Coughlin sponsored to help ensure New Jersey is getting a proper return on its investments in the business community was approved 56-15 Thursday by the General Assembly.
The bill (A-660) would establish the Legislative Task Force on Business Development Incentives and require a biennial audit of the economic development incentive programs offered through the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (EDA). 
The EDA oversees numerous business development and financing programs, including several new programs to help with the recovery from the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. In 2013, alone, the EDA finalized more than $1.29 billion in financing assistance, business incentives and tax credits.

Benson, Sumter & Lagana Bill to Ensure Safe Disposal of Prescription Drugs Gains Final Legislative Approval

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Dan Benson, Shavonda Sumter and Joseph Lagana to help curb New Jersey's heroin and opioid crisis gained final legislative approval on Thursday in the Assembly. 

The bill (A-709) would require pharmacies and prescribers to supply patients with a Division of Consumer Affairs notice publicizing available drug take-back programs and giving suggestions for the safe disposal of drugs with each controlled dangerous substance dispensed. 

The sponsors highlighted the bill's focus on creating awareness, which they believe is a fundamental part of preventing fatal interactions with prescription medication.

Benson, Prieto, Caride & Quijano Bill to Set Clear Standards for Use of Drones in New Jersey Passes Assembly

Legislation Assembly Democrats Daniel R. Benson, Vincent Prieto, Marlene Caride and Annette Quijano introduced to protect the privacy of New Jersey residents by creating standards to be followed by law enforcement agencies and fire departments utilizing drones passed the full Assembly on Thursday. 

The bill (A-1039) sets forth certain guidelines to be followed by law enforcement agencies and fire departments that use unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly referred to as drones. 

"We have heard many concerns about the expanded use of drones invading personal privacy, so a bill like this makes sense in this day and age," said Benson (D-Mercer/Middlesex). "We will not be impairing the ability of law enforcement and emergency services to use drones when they're definitely needed. We'll just be creating common sense guidelines."

Conaway, Benson, Vainieri Huttle, Sumter & Mukherji Bill to Notify Public of Open Beds at Drug Treatment Facilities Gains Assembly OK

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Herb Conaway, Daniel Benson, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Shavonda Sumter and Raj Mukherji to help more individuals struggling to overcome substance abuse receive the treatment they need gained Assembly approval on Thursday.

The bill (A-3955) would require the development and maintenance of a database to advise the public about open bed availability in residential substance use disorder treatment facilities. Under the bill, the Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services in the Department of Human Services would establish and oversee a public database that would track the number of open beds available for treatment in each facility that receives state or county funding.

Moriarty & Benson Bill to Restrict Access to Motor Vehicle Recording Device Data & Protect Driver Privacy Becomes Law

Legislation Assemblymen Paul Moriarty and Daniel Benson sponsored to limit access to data from devices in automobiles that can capture information about the driver's activity was signed into law on Monday.

"The preservation of electronic data from any of these sources is becoming vital to the defense of litigation in accidents," said Moriarty (D-Camden/Gloucester). "These recordings may be the most reliable and objective source of information about the events that occurred just prior to a crash. This law is necessary to preserve the integrity of the recordings and protect what may be used as evidence in court."

Benson, Greenwald, Lagana & Vainieri Huttle Cord Blood Bank Tax Deduction Bill Approved by Assembly Panel

Legislation Will Help More Families Bank Life-Saving Cord Blood

An Assembly panel on Monday approved legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Daniel Benson, Majority Leader Louis Greenwald, Joseph Lagana and Valerie Vainieri Huttle to help more families afford the opportunity to bank their child's cord blood in the event of a medical emergency down the road.

Vainieri Huttle, Mosquera, McKeon, Benson & Sumter ‘Sexual Assault Survivor Protection Act of 2015’ Continues Advancing

 

Legislation Would Permit Victims without Ties to Offenders to Seek Protective Orders

Assembly approved legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Gabriela Mosquera, John McKeon, Daniel Benson and Shavonda Sumter to allow more victims of sexual assault to seek protective orders against their perpetrators continued advancing on Thursday.

Assembly Panel OKs Lampitt, Conaway, Benson, Sumter, Fuentes & Pinkin Bill to Make Cost-Effective Biological Drug Alternatives More Widely Available

An Assembly panel on Thursday unanimously approved legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Pamela Lampitt, Herb Conaway, Jr., M.D., Daniel Benson, Shavonda Sumter, Angel Fuentes and Nancy Pinkin to make it easier for consumers to obtain more cost-effective, "generic" versions of biological medicines used to treat conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, anemia, psoriasis and various forms of cancer.

Benson, DeAngelo, Sumter & Wisniewski Bill to Teach New Drivers about the Dangers of Road Rage Becomes Law

Legislation Inspired by Mercer County Woman Injured in Road Rage Accident

Legislation Assembly Democrats Daniel Benson, Wayne DeAngelo, Shavonda Sumter and John Wisniewski sponsored to teach new drivers about the dangers of engaging in road rage was signed into law on Monday.

Eustace, Benson, Vainieri Huttle, Lagana & Caride Legislation to Encourage Safe Disposal of Prescription Drugs Becomes Law

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Timothy Eustace, Daniel Benson, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Joseph Lagana and Marlene Caride to provide a safe way for New Jersey residents to dispose of prescription drugs was signed into law on Wednesday.

"Disposing of unused prescription drugs properly is equally as important as taking them as prescribed," said Eustace (D-Bergen/Passaic). "Prescription drug abuse is prevalent in many communities, and much of that abuse begins at home where the drugs are easily accessible."

DeAngelo & Benson: NJ Transit Proposes Fare Hike at a Very Bad Time

(TRENTON) -- Assemblymen Wayne P. DeAngelo and Daniel R. Benson (both D-Mercer/Middlesex) had the following published recently in The Times of Trenton:

Assembly OKs Schaer, Mazzeo, Lagana, Benson, Quijano & Sumter Bill to Help Cover Costs for Nursing Homes When Medicaid Drags its Feet

(TRENTON) - The General Assembly on Monday approved legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Gary Schaer, Vincent Mazzeo, Joseph Lagana, Dan Benson, Annette Quijano and Shavonda Sumter to help seniors and other vulnerable residents receive the specialized care they need from nursing homes when the Medicaid application approval process is delayed.

Designated the "Uncompensated Pending Medicaid Beneficiary Payment Relief Act," the bill (A-3928), would provide payments to nursing homes for residents who have applied for Medicaid but whose eligibility has not been determined more than 90 days after the initial application.

Moriarty & Benson Bill to Restrict Access to Motor Vehicle Recording Device Data & Protect Driver Privacy Gets Final Legislative OK

Legislation Assemblymen Paul Moriarty and Daniel Benson sponsored to limit access to data from devices in automobiles that can capture information about the driver's activity was approved 73-0 Thursday by the Assembly, giving it final legislative approval.

"The preservation of electronic data from any of these sources is becoming vital to the defense of litigation in accidents," said Moriarty (D-Camden/Gloucester). "These recordings may be the most reliable and objective source of information about the events that occurred just prior to a crash. This legislation is necessary to preserve the integrity of the recordings and protect what may be used as evidence in court..."

Assembly Democratic Bill to Give Parents Choice to Opt Out of PARCC Approved by Assembly

Bill sponsored by Diegnan, Jasey, Caputo, Benson, Eustace, Vainieri Huttle, Gusciora, Pinkin, McKeon & Andrzejczak in response to PARCC criticism

The General Assembly on Thursday approved legislation allowing parents and guardian to exclude a student from taking the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessment being administered to New Jersey students in grades 3-11.

"The debate over the PARCC assessment and whether or not it will help or hurt students has only grown more intense," said Diegnan (D-Middlesex). "With so many lingering questions about its effectiveness and worry about the impact on students, it is only fair that we give parents the option to say no to the test on behalf of their children until we can answer their questions and ease their fears."

Singleton, Schaer, Benson, Eustace & Mosquera Bill to Improve Reporting and Disclosure of State Tax Expenditures Heads to Governor's Desk

Legislation Assembly Democrats Troy Singleton, Gary Schaer, Daniel R. Benson, Timothy Eustace and Gabriela Mosquera sponsored to improve reporting and disclosure requirements on state tax expenditures and impose a seven-year limit on the duration of new state tax expenditure enactments received final legislative approval Thursday and now heads to the governor's desk.

"The state does not authorize these tax expenditures lightly," said Singleton (D-Burlington). "They're authorized for specific goals such as creating jobs or boosting economic growth, so we need to make certain these benefits are working as intended. It's common sense to examine whether these expenditures are working. It's what the taxpayers deserve."

Andrzejczak, Benson Bill to Encourage Students to Honor & Assist Veterans and Active Duty Member OK'd by Assembly Panel

Legislation Assemblyman Bob Andrzejczak (D-Cape May, Atlantic, Cumberland) and Daniel Benson (D-Mercer, Middlesex) sponsored to encourage students to help honor or assist veterans and active duty members of the Armed Forces or National Guard was recently approved by an Assembly panel.

"Attending a ceremony honoring a veteran or active duty member, or helping a veteran at a hospital or food shelter, has immeasurable educational value," said Andrzejczak, who was a sergeant in the United States Army and was injured during a deployment to Iraq. "Students can learn tremendously from our veterans and active duty members, all of whom have so much to teach about service to our nation, personal commitment or history, among the many, many possibilities."

Eustace, Spencer, Lampitt & Benson Bill to Help State Facilities Go Green Clears Assembly Panel

Measure Would Oversee the Transition to Environmentally Sustainable, Energy Efficient Practices at All State Offices

Legislation Assembly Democrats Tim Eustace, L. Grace Spencer, Pamela Lampitt and Daniel Benson sponsored to help New Jersey "go green" by maximizing the environmental sustainability of state offices recently was approved by an Assembly panel.

Specifically, the bill (A-4047) would create an Office of Sustainability in the Department of the Treasury that would be responsible for developing and implementing environmental sustainability measures in all state buildings and coordinating with the owners of property in which state agencies are located in an effort to implement environmental sustainability practices in those buildings.

Mazzeo, Vainieri Huttle, Lampitt, Mosquera & Benson Bill to Allow Service Animals to Board School Buses Signed Into Law

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Vincent Mazzeo, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Pamela Lampitt, Gabriela Mosquera and Dan Benson to allow students with disabilities to bring service animals onto school buses in New Jersey was signed into law on Monday.

"This will ensure that New Jersey aligns with what federal law prescribes," said Mazzeo (D-Atlantic). "What's more important, however, is our commitment to ensuring that students with disabilities can have the highest quality of life possible and access the same opportunities as their peers."

Andrzejczak, Lagana, Mazzeo, Johnson & Benson Bill Permitting In-State Tuition Rates for Vets at NJ Colleges Now Law

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Sgt. Robert Andrzejczak, Joseph Lagana, Vincent Mazzeo, Gordon Johnson and Dan Benson to allow veterans attending a public college or university in New Jersey to pay in-state tuition rates has been signed into law.

"For my fellow veterans, the transition to civilian life can be challenging," said Andrzejczak (D-Cape May/Atlantic/Cumberland), a U.S. Army veteran who served and was wounded in Iraq. "With this law, we'll rightfully be giving veterans a helping hand and showing respect for their sacrifices and bravery in protecting our freedoms. An education is the road to a better future, so let's make it easier for our veterans - who have given so much to our country - to obtain one."

Lampitt, Greenwald, Vainieri Huttle & Benson Bill to Create Tax-Free Savings Accounts for Individuals with Disabilities Advanced by Assembly Panel

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Pamela Lampitt, Majority Leader Louis Greenwald, Valerie Vainieri Huttle and Daniel Benson to create tax-free savings accounts for individuals with disabilities was approved by an Assembly panel on Thursday.

The bill (A-3956) would establish a program within the New Jersey Division of Developmental Disabilities known as ABLE - Achieving a Better Life Experience - in accordance with the federal "Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014," which was signed into law by President Obama in December 2014.

Jasey, Benson, Vainieri Huttle & McKeon Bill to Study Benefits of Later Start Time for Schools Clears Assembly Panel

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Mila Jasey, Dan Benson, Valerie Vainieri Huttle and John McKeon to study the merits of pushing back the start time for middle schools and high schools in New Jersey was released Thursday by an Assembly panel.

"The majority of adolescents in this country are not getting enough sleep. This can have serious consequences on their health and their grades," said Jasey (D-Essex/Morris). "Resetting the school day would not be easy or simple, but given what we now know about the effects of sleep deprivation on the adolescent brain, to not even consider it as a possibility does our students a disservice. This bill is a good first step in determining whether changing the school start time makes sense for our students."

Assembly Democratic Legislative Package to Give Parents Choice to Opt Out of PARCC, Study Effectiveness of Controversial Test Clears Assembly Panel

Sponsored by Diegnan, Jasey, Caputo, Benson, Eustace, Vainieri Huttle, Gusciora, Pinkin, McKeon, Andrzejczak & Johnson

An Assembly panel on Thursday released a two-bill legislative package to tackle the growing concern over the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessment being administered to New Jersey students in grades 3-11.

The first bill (A-4165), sponsored by Assembly Democrats Patrick Diegnan, Mila Jasey, Ralph Caputo, Dan Benson, Tim Eustace, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Reed Gusciora, Nancy Pinkin, John McKeon and Bob Andrzejczak, would allow a parent or guardian to exclude a student from taking the PARCC. The second bill (A-4268), sponsored by Andrzejczak, Diegnan and Assemblyman Gordon Johnson, would establish a task force to study the effectiveness and implementation of the PARCC.

Gusciora, Sumter, Wimberly & Benson Bill to Help Get Dormant Properties Redeveloped & Back on Tax Rolls Clears Assembly Panel

Bill would help revitalize abandoned properties including historic Roebling factories property in Trenton & Vista site within Great Falls National Historic Park area in Paterson

(TRENTON) - An Assembly panel recently approved legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Reed Gusciora, Shavonda E. Sumter, Benjie Wimberly and Dan Benson to help get properties that have otherwise been ignored by developers redeveloped and revitalized.

Assembly Panel OK’s Eustace, Benson, Mazzeo, Johnson & Coughlin Bill to Ensure Taxpayers Are Getting a Good Return on Economic Investments

Legislation sponsored by Assemblymen Tim Eustace, Daniel Benson, Vince Mazzeo, Gordon Johnson and Craig Coughlin to help ensure New Jersey is getting a proper return on its investments in the business community was approved by an Assembly panel on Monday.

Conaway, Mukherji, Sumter, Jimenez, Benson & Vainieri Huttle Bills to Curb Prescription Drug & Opioid Abuse Gain Panel Approval

Two bills aimed at addressing prescription drug and opioid abuse in New Jersey were advanced Monday by an Assembly panel.
The first bill (A-3723) would require any drug treatment program operating within a state correctional facility or county jail to offer medication-assisted treatment of substance abuse disorders in order to qualify for licensing as a residential drug treatment program and be eligible to receive the benefits thereof.
Sponsors Herb Conaway, Raj Mukherji, Shavonda Sumter and Angelica Jimenez noted that the measure will help advance drug rehabilitation among inmates across New Jersey.

Lampitt, Vainieri Huttle, Benson, Mosquera, Spencer & Wimberly Bill to Create Alert System for Missing Disabled Persons Continues Advancing


Bill Would Create MVP Emergency Alert System

(TRENTON) - Assembly approved legislation Assembly Democrats Pamela Lampitt, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Daniel Benson, Gabriela Mosquera, L. Grace Spencer and Benjie Wimberly sponsored to create an alert system for missing persons with mental, intellectual or developmental disabilities continues advancing.
The bill (A-2709) would require the Attorney General to establish the MVP Emergency Alert System, which would provide practices and protocols for the rapid dissemination of information regarding a person who is believed to be a missing vulnerable person. 

Benson, Lagana, Mosquera & Eustace Bill to Help Curb Financial Fraud and Exploitation of Elderly Gains Assembly Approval

Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Daniel Benson, Joseph Lagana, Gabriela Mosquera and Tim Eustace to revise current law in an effort to train agents of money transmitters on how to properly recognize financial abuse and exploitation of elderly residents gained approval from the General Assembly on Monday.

Benson, DeAngelo, Sumter & Wisniewski Bill to Emphasize Dangers of Road Rage to New Drivers Gets Final Legislative Approval

Bill Inspired by Mercer County Woman Injured in Road Rage Accident

Legislation Assembly Democrats Daniel R. Benson, Wayne DeAngelo, Shavonda Sumter and John Wisniewski sponsored to teach new drivers about the dangers of engaging in road rage was approved 76-0 Monday by the Assembly, giving it final legislative approval.

Assembly Panel OKs Schaer, Mazzeo, Lagana, Benson & Quijano Bill to Help Cover Costs for Nursing Homes When Medicaid Drags its Feet


(TRENTON) - An Assembly panel on Monday approved legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Gary Schaer, Vincent Mazzeo, Joseph Lagana, Dan Benson and Annette Quijano to help seniors and other vulnerable residents receive the specialized care they need from nursing homes when the Medicaid application approval process is delayed.